Ingelfinger rule

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In scientific publishing, the Ingelfinger rule stipulates that a scientist may not publish to the media before being peer reviewed.[1] and seeks to protect the scientific embargo system which allows for more accurate reporting on study claims.[2] It was created in 1969 by Franz J. Ingelfinger, who at the time was editor of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), as an effort to prevent NEJM from losing originality. The rule was subsequently adopted by several other scientific journals, and shaped scientific publishing ever since.[3]


The Ingelfinger rule has been seen as having the aim of preventing authors from performing double publications which would unduly inflate their publication record.[4] On the other hand it has also been stated that the real reason for the Ingelfinger rule is to protect the journals' revenue stream, and with the increase in popularity of preprint servers such as arXiv, figshare, bioRχiv, and PeerJPrePrints many journals have loosened their requirements concerning the Ingelfinger rule.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ingelfinger rule definition". 13 June 2000. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  2. ^ Selective Leaking — Breaking Ingelfinger’s Rule, by Nathan A. Schachtman, NAS Law Blog, June 20, 2014.
  3. ^ Marshall, E. (1998). "Franz Ingelfinger's Legacy Shaped Biology Publishing". Science 282 (5390): 861–3, 865–7. doi:10.1126/science.282.5390.861. PMID 9841429. 
  4. ^ Vincent Larivière, Yves Gingras: On the prevalence and scientific impact of duplicate publications in different scientific fields (1980-2007)
  5. ^ Christine L. Borgman: Scholarship in the digital age: information, infrastructure, and the Internet, MIT Press, October 31, 2007, ISBN 978-0-262-02619-2, p. 99

Further reading[edit]